I did an end run around Falernum. Found a recipe for it on the web and thought skip the steeping part. Basically just added everything that is in Falernum straight into my Maitai
1.5 oz Cruzan dark rum
1/2 oz demerara rum
1/4 oz luxardo amaretto
1/2 oz almond syrup
juice and zest of 1/2 a large lime
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp each of fresh ground cinnamon, allspice, and clove
Shake like the dickens and serve on the rocks.
Yes! I love the stuff. Here's a drink I recently created with it:
1/3 oz Velvet Falernum
2 oz aged rum (I've been using Thomas Tew Newport Rum for this drink, but Appleton Extra or Matusalem Gran Reserva would be good substitutes)
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz grapefruit syrup*
2 dashes Angostura
Shake, strain. Garnish, if desired, with a grapefruit twist.
* To make the grapefruit syrup, start with 4 pink grapefruits. Cut off the peel into large chunks and squeeze the oils out into the container in which you're working. Then chop up the flesh, combine everything in the container, and muddle with 1/2 cup of white rum. The idea is to get the oils, the juice, and even some of the bitter notes from the pith--the entire flavor of the grapefruit.
Bring all of this just to a boil, then strain, reserving as much liquid as possible. Return the liquid to the stove and reduce to 30% of the original volume. Remove from the heat and mix in an equal part, by volume, of turbinado sugar. Once cool, add a few ounces of white rum (for preservative qualities). Stored in the fridge, the syrup will last for a couple of months.
I ran out of my grapefruit syrup and have been too lazy to make more. Started playing with fresh grapefruit and Velvet Falernum, and came up with the following:
1 oz blackstrap rum
1 oz Kilo Kai, or similar spiced rum
1/2 oz Lemon Hart 151
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1 oz grapefruit juice
1/2 oz lime juice
5 dashes Fee's Whiskey Barrel bitters
5 dashes Bitter Truth Xocolatl Mole bitters
Shake all ingredients briefly with ice. Pour, ice included, into a double old fashioned glass or a tiki mug. Serve with a straw.
Velvet Falernum Legend
Sir James Taylor Mountjoy strode into the kitchen of Great Plantation House his Uncle had bequeathed to him; he was a proud young man. Sixty good acres of fine cane land in St Philip, Barbados in 1840 was indeed a wonderful legacy, and he was determined to make it a success.
One particularly attractive girl, perhaps 18, was busy on the stove with a large pot of boiling sugar whose sweetness filled the kitchen.
‘Smells delicious, what are you making?” was his response to the delightful aroma. “It really has a wonderful tropical fragrance. May I have a taste?”
“Well sah it make men rude!” answered the confident yet charming young girl.
“Oh I think I can handle that. How do you make it? What are the ingredients? It is delicious!”
“You want fuh learn um?”
Fa ler num! Good Lord what a fine name! Reminds me of the classic wine of ancient Campania beloved by the Gods, called Falernian. Young lady this is a wonder of the new world: I will name it after you …what is your name?
“ Velvet sah!”
Henceforth it will be called Taylor’s Velvet Falernum, a noble liquor fit for the Gods! I shall have some with my rum this evening. Bring me some Falernum this evening Velvet!”